I just discovered the most wonderful resource…if you have an i-pod or access to the online apple store. You can learn all sorts of things under Itunes-U. I just spent the last half hour or so listening to pod casts on Medieval English by Dr S.D. Lee of Oxford University. He reads various Anglo Saxon texts, but there’s also four hour long lectures on various aspects of Anglo Saxon literature, history and society that he gave to students studying at Oxford. Can’t go to Oxford? Listen to a podcast and learn something without paying a penny! It’s all free! You can even down load it to listen to as you exercise or drive or bake cakes.
I’ll be listening…later…I have to go to bed now, but I’m so excited I’ll probably have a hard time falling asleep. There’s tons of stuff one can listen to in lots of different subjects. All sorts of great institutions of higher education are taking part. This is democracy in action…the sharing of knowledge! Look it up! Learn something new…widen your horizon…widen your perspective on who you are…you never know where the journey will take you!
A picture I found on the web of a whelk
After finishing the newspaper I tried to watch a movie, but I couldn’t concentrate. I turned off the movie and picked up the book off the top my pile of newly acquired second hand paperbacks and decided to try to read ‘A History of the English Church and People’ by Bede. Note the word try. The book was completed in 731. That’s not a typo…it was written centuries before William the Conqueror arived to savage England. It may not be boring, but it’s not sold as a page turner! I made it to the end of the first page. Bede, begins by telling the reader about Britain. Where it is, how large it is and what sort of animals can be found here etc. I was starting to fall asleep until I read, “There are also many varieties of shell-fish, such as mussels, in which are often found excellent pearls of several colours, red, purple, violet, and green, but mainly white.” (Have you ever heard of green or violet pearls? I haven’t. I made a mental note to look it up and continued…) “Whelks are abundant, and a beautiful scarlet dye is extracted from them which remains unfaded by sunshine or rain; indeed, the older the cloth, the more beautiful the colour.” Wondering what a whelk was, I looked it up in my encyclopaedia… Read more…
Lucky in Love, Redeeming A Rake, Regency Notes
Button hole stitches over pencil drawn heart! I love its imperfection. It shows I did it free hand on my ordinary sewing machine.
I finished my ‘I love King John bag’ last week and today it had its first public outing. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I make something I have to look at it for awhile before I can use or wear it. I have this cute little purse I call an ‘Inside-out Purse’ because the silk pokadot lining is on the outside of the bag; I had to look at that for over a year before I could be seen with it. It has since travelled the Atlantic, but it is rather odd…does anyone else have this problem? I recently made a cute necklace, but I’m still looking at it. I thought I’d need to look at my King John bag for weeks, but I was going into town and it was perfect for the journey so I used it. I haven’t done anything else today, but I used my bag! I’d hoped to do some writing today, but I’ve been too tired. I had nine hours of sleep, but my pillow is rubbish and I woke feeling like I needed a neck brace. Read more…
Feeling Creative, King John
Me next to the large Torr on Stanton on the Moor
On Thursday the sun was shining and once again, the Goblin didn’t have to go to work so we headed for Derbyshire and Stanton on the Moor to take photos. Say it outloud with a bad English accent (unless you are English in which care say it with a really bad Welsh accent), ‘Stanton on the Moor’. It sounds like one of those Gothic romance novels loosely based on Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Stanton on the Moor…it’s the top of a hill covered in heather except for the path, large clump of trees in the middle and the odd Torr. (tor or torr tör; noun a hill, a rocky height. Old English torr tor, from Latin turris tower, or perhaps from Celtic) Torrs are large standing rocks that were probably set up by prehistoric people who meant it to say something like, ‘We’re so strong and fit we could afford to risk our strongest young men all pulling muscles to lift this great big rock to a standing position…to let you know how strong and fit we are!’ Or maybe (because there are climbing holes in it and we can’t date the holes) maybe it was a way to see if unfriendly neighbors were coming to steal their sheep and women. Read more…
I've been taking photographs
Cari touches the tree...
The Goblin was off work today so we decided to chase the sunshine. Last night the weather report suggested the most likely area to be sunny all day was southwest of London so I mentioned that the ancient yew tree at Runnymede (not far from Old Windsor) was down there and that I really wanted to see it. The word Runnymede should ring a bell…the name John should be coming to mind. Oh yes, him again! Apparently the signing of the original Magna Carta took place under an ancient yew tree that’s now well over two thousand years old. From a nearby flood plain next to the river Thames on a clear day you can see Windsor Castle in the distance, though in 1215 it would have been mainly a roundish looking tower surrounded by fortified walls. My Goblin informs me that Runnymede is AngloSaxon for Meadow of the Runes. This is a magical place…in more ways than one.
It wasn’t easy to find. On the “Welcome to Runnymede” pamphlet at the sight referred to as Runnymede there was no mention of the tree at all, infact the whole sight celebrated as the place where the Magna Carta was signed is on the wrong side of the river…almost opposite where the tree stands. The yew tree is on a piece of land called Ankerwycke, hence its name Ankerwycke Yew…it’s all rather confusing. Read more…
History Notes, I've been taking photographs, King John
A pocket purse
Dancing the Maypole has been blocked for about a month now. I’ve been pretending everything was fine and I just hadn’t yet figured out what happened next, but of course that was all self-delusion. And early this week my other story, the one that still has no name, ground to a halt as well. I sat here and tried to forcibly move the story on…a process that must be similar to moving a cow from point A to B when the said cow wishes to remain at point A. Futile! So feeling frustrated I decided I’d take a few days away from the computer to have a think about where I was going wrong with my stories. Since I wasn’t writing I had no excuse not to sew. Some time last year I designed and started to make what I called a “Pocket Purse”. Read more…